FRANCE: 3 facilities open to serve youth
Don Bosco Institute for Youth and Education facilities provide shelter and support
(MissionNewswire) The Don Bosco Institute for Youth and Education, based in Gradignan, provides and oversees homes and services scattered throughout the New Aquitaine region in southwest France. A total of 47 facilities and centers help several thousand children, older youth and adults in need each year. Recently, the institute opened three houses for minors, known as MECS in French.
The mission of a MECS is to provide a safe and caring environment for youth in the care of Children’s Social Aid services. The Don Bosco Institute opened three centers in response to a call for such initiatives from the Gironde Department Council.
These three facilities, located in Langon, Saint-André de Cubzac, and Castelnau-de-Médoc, provide shelter and support for youth from ages 3-18 and up to 21 for the most vulnerable youth. Across the three homes, Salesians can provide for more than 100 youth. Of that, there are eight placements available for youth from complex situations, including those with disabilities or behavior disorders.
MECS in Langon houses 40 older youth and offers internships, modulated internships, foster care and various types of housing. The center in Saint André de Cubzac houses 32 youth as does the one in Castelnau-de-Médoc.
“Salesian centers and institutes in France and across the globe provide education and social development services for poor and at-risk youth,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The goal of Salesians is to provide support for youth through meeting their basic needs and helping them gain an education so they can be self-sufficient in the future.”
The Don Bosco Institute has been operating in New Aquitaine for more than 160 years and continues to help children and older youth to lead healthy and productive lives in which they are prepared for the future. In addition to the services mentioned, the institute also runs reception centers for migrant minors and medical-educational institutes.
Photo ©: MECS Langon